unemployed povertyPoverty numbers in the U.S. are getting grimmer: The country's poverty rate increased in 2009, reaching 14.3%, or 43.6 million people. That's the latest word from the Census Bureau, which released its report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009, today. In 2008, the nation's official poverty rate was 13.2%, or 39.8 million people.

The number of families in poverty increased to 11.1%, or 8.8 million, in 2009, up from 10.3%, or 8.1 million, in 2008.

Not only is the poverty rate in 2009 the highest since 1994, but more people were living in poverty in 2009 than in any of the 51 years for which poverty estimates are available, the Census Bureau said. However, real median household income of $49,777 in 2009 didn't change much from 2008.

Children Are Still Affected Most

How does the bureau determine who's living in poverty? For a family of four in 2009, the threshold was $21,954, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget, which updates the poverty threshold for inflation. So, the number was lower in 2009.

Poverty continued to affect children more than adults. The rate for children younger than 18 increased beyond 20%, reaching 20.7%, or 15.5 million children, up from 19%, or 14.1 million children, in 2008. The poverty rate also increased among people 18 to 64 from 11.7% in 2008 to 12.9% in 2009. But it declined for people 65 and older from 9.7% in 2008 to 8.9% in 2009.

Regionally, the poverty rate increased from 2008 to 2009 in the Midwest, South and West, and all four areas (including the Northeast) saw increases in the number of people in poverty. In 2009, households in the West and Northeast had the highest median household incomes. That measure declined between 2008 and 2009 in the Midwest and West.

Women continued to earn less than men. In 2009, the median earnings of women who worked full-time, year-round were $36,278, or 77% of that for men, who earned $47,127. This wasn't statistically different from the 2008 ratio.

More Poverty, Less Health Insurance

With poverty growing, the number of people without health insurance coverage also rose -- from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009. The percentage also increased, from 15.4% to 16.7% over the same period. And the number of people with health insurance decreased -- the first year it happened since the bureau started tracking this in 1987.

When it comes to health insurance, again children were affected. In 2009, 10% (7.5 million) of children under 18 were without coverage, although that wasn't much different than 2008. But the uninsured rate for children in poverty (15.1%) was greater than the rate for all children.

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Private enterprise is the only means to turn this around. Creating more gov't jobs either just moves money around or requires the printing of more money neither of which results in new wealth being generated. Likewise increased movement of US assets overseas will only cause an increase in US poverty as more private sector jobs go overseas. Likewise increasing energy costs through cap and trade will only decrease private sector jobs because new alternate-energy jobs and job training won't be able to keep up with demand. More American industry will relocate because of increased energy costs.

September 23 2010 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did you know Israel is receiving 6 billion a year from taxing poverty stricken Americans......What a joke ! JOSEPH LIEBERMAN IS A BIG PART OF WHY WE HAVE SO MANY POVERTY STRICKEN AMERICANS WHILE 5 MILLION ISRAELIS GET 6 BILLION IN US FORIEGN AID FOR WHAT? Israelis do not contribute to our workforce? Why don't we suspend the billions to the Israelis so Americans can eat and be secure?

September 21 2010 at 12:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

And I bet most of the poor are hearty supporters of the Tea Party people! For some very odd reason, why to the trailer-trash and unemployed/underemployed hold such strong "republican" values when real republicans don't care a stitch about them!? If unemployment and poverty are soooo rampant now, why are there no poor and unemployed taking to the streets in protest? Why was there such strong opposition to health care reform which can only improve their conditions? Why are the teabagger people so anti-everything except poverty and unemployemnt?! Really....Americans better seriously look around and see tha this country is falling apart and Tea Party is not the answer!!

September 20 2010 at 1:27 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Hope and change. Obama says he would "transform" the country, and he is. Well, here's to the One World Order, One world money, one world socialism.... but let's just throw the word "hope" in to seduce and deceive them so they can feel good.

September 20 2010 at 8:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great Job OBAMA.....While you are vacationing AGAIN....Americans go hungry!!!

September 19 2010 at 10:06 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Well, folks... If Capitalism doesn't work why not try something different?

September 19 2010 at 12:36 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dxman7's comment

Capitalism works great what we have now is socialism and that always results in failer look at every socialist nation that has existed they all failed just as we are failing with the socialist/liberals running things first step vote out all encumbents especially Obama and his crowd then get in honest normal people of all races who are not professional polititions or liberals who preferably have not been to collage we need normal honest people not people brainwashed by the liberals who run collages now days

September 19 2010 at 12:50 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

Welcome to KENYA! Obamanomics have taken hold!

September 18 2010 at 6:44 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

This spells out the ultimate goal of all liberal policies. Get more people in poverty and keep them there.

September 18 2010 at 1:49 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Steven's comment

thats how they plan to get and keep power over people and take away what rights we have left

September 19 2010 at 12:51 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply


September 18 2010 at 12:52 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to KEVIN's comment

thats what is destroying america liberals and their hope and change lie

September 19 2010 at 12:52 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Thank the Democrats and their fearless leader for this.

September 18 2010 at 9:40 AM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to martbild's comment

thats a fact democrats used race to get Obama elected and he has posted his type of people at every turn yet they still blame others for their failers

September 19 2010 at 12:54 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply